Robert Anderson was scrolling through Instagram food porn when he thought, as many a foodie has, “These people are getting paid to eat amazing food, and all they have to do is photograph it. Why don’t I do this?”
If you were hungry before reading this article, then it is about to get a lot worse, because Robert's work is giving a new flavor to the Washington, D.C. food scene.
However, unlike most of us, who continue to scroll and pay for overpriced avocado toast, Robert Anderson created District Daily Eats, which is now one of Washington, DC’s top foodie Instagram accounts and photography businesses.
“My first love was travel photography, but I didn’t have the time or money to do that when I was starting out, so I went for my second love—food! Which can take you a lot of places too,”
While Robert, “Rob,” has not been able to travel internationally as much as he would like, he has always enjoyed traveling gastronomically.
A longtime Yelp member, taking photos of food was already a normal part of eating out.
"Being a food photographer just meant I needed to have higher quality pics and work on being more creative,”
Rob began taking photos on his digital camera instead of his iPhone, and he devoted most of his non-working time to learning the technical aspects of photography.
“After work, I was part-time at YouTube University,” he joked.
While Rob admits that creative captures can be difficult when photographing trendy, highly photographed foods, he enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to make his photography unique by capturing the food from a new angle and using animation.
For aspiring food photographers, Rob highly recommends joining local meet-up groups to participate in free food photography events.
“They created consistent opportunities for me to practice and photograph cool stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. Plus, it’s cool being around other foodie photographers; everyone is usually really nice and helps each other get their shot,” he said.
After about two years of YouTube University, weekly foodie photography meet-ups, and hundreds of Instagram posts of non-sponsored meals, Rob began to receive messages from restaurants requesting his services.
Now, in addition to compensated shoots, he enjoys completely gratis, or heavily discounted meals, at his city’s top restaurants, often with his family joining him at the table.
While the stereotypical foodie photographer evokes an image of a millennial standing on a chair to get an overhead shot of their brunch, Rob is a refreshing foil. A family man and DC professional, Rob brings down-to-earth creativity and professionalism to every client, whether they’re a food truck owner or a Michelin-starred restaurant.
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